Occidental Punta Cana 3.5

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Very pretty rooms come with decent balconies, fluffy bathrobes, flat-screen TVs and comfortable beds.

Best Value Hotels in the Dominican Republic(16 of 22)

 Very pretty rooms come with decent balconies, fluffy bathrobes, flat-screen TVs and comfortable beds.
Quality food, oceanfront bungalows, free trapeze lessons, and beachside canopy beds make this 600-room resort an excellent value; the sexy, 80 percent Italian clientele doesn't hurt, either. There are some minor cleanliness issues, like debris in the pool, but the beach has some of the softest sand and clearest water in the D.R. (though there are the occasional coral rocks). The visually stunning beach, with calm waves and soft sand, is among the best in the D.R. There are plenty of lounge chairs, lovely sunsets, and no vendors hassling guests. Ample activities include darts, boccie ball, Spanish lessons, bingo, and -- unique to the Viva Wyndham -- free trapeze lessons run by real-life circus performers. Theater perfomances, such as this rendition of the movie Moulin Rouge, feature impressive costumes and dancing. Food at Viva Wyndham is head and shoulders above the quality found at most D.R. resorts, with a phenomenal selection of dishes made fresh whenever possible -- from the donuts fried every morning to the just-grilled fish to the from-scratch pizzas pulled out of the wood-burning oven. Offering eco-friendly bungalows in a lush, friendly setting, Natura Cabanas is a taste of serene, northern-coast luxury for a remarkably fair price. Guests enjoy delicious, fresh food, a clean, crowd-free private beach, daily yoga and Pilates classes, and a fabulous spa. It's quiet -- and a bit rustic without TV or AC in the rooms -- but that's the point. With no crowds, plenty of chairs, clear water, and soft sand, this is the best beach on the north coast. The resort's 11 spacious, eco-friendly bungalows are full of rustic charm, with stone walls, thatched roofs, and large porches with a hammock or swing. Guests find the amazing stone bathrooms strewn with flower petals upon arrival. Fresh fruit crepe topped with chocolate sauce at Natura Restaurant. The resort's two beachside restaurants serve fresh food that is a big step up from the D.R.'s many awful all-inclusive buffets. Located in the safe, touristy mini-city of Playa Dorada, this family-friendly all-inclusive resort has an excellent buffet, some of the newest, cleanest rooms in the D.R., and one of the best beaches on the north coast. It's an incredible bargain, if you ignore the cheap booze, the lingering service kinks, and a pool that's less awe-inspiring than others. Grand Paradise has a larger, more open beachfront than any other resort in Playa Dorada -- and it has stunning views of Mount Isabel de Torres to boot. The large, stylish disco is conveniently located across the hall from a bar area. The fresh and varied Hibiscus Buffet has made-to-order omelets, freshly baked bread, and rib-eye steaks to order. An 877-room all-inclusive, the Occidental draws mostly young families with its massive, lagoon-shaped pool (one of Punta Cana's best), as well as its popular beachside activities, lively entertainment, many restaurants, and all-night pizzeria. Reasonably priced, this all-inclusive has bang for the buck! Very pretty rooms come with decent balconies, fluffy bathrobes, flat-screen TVs and comfortable beds. The broad white-sand beach is packed with activities, from dance aerobics to volleyball. Costumed staffers regale the crowd with dance routines at the resort's large theater. The playful waiters at the pizzeria serve up fresh slices all night long. Modern rooms (half of them renovated in late 2008 with marble, Jacuzzi-equipped bathrooms) amp up this otherwise ho-hum all-inclusive. An enormous pool, a nice spa, name-brand liquor, and reservation-free restaurants are the property's other perks, but the crowded, less pristine beach isn't ideal, and the buffet and entertainment are mediocre. Still, for Puerto Plata, it's a great value. The large zero-entry pool is like a village unto itself, with bridges, waterfalls, and a separate volleyball area. The resort's liquor selection is impressive for a midrange all-inclusive, and includes name brands like Stoli, Absolut, Johnnie Walker Red, Tanqueray gin, and Dewar's scotch.